There are few places on Earth that allow bystanders to connect and interact with animals in the same way that zoos and amusement parks do.
In most cases, you can get up-close and personal with many of the animals. There’s nothing quite like posing for a selfie with a full-grown tiger, or taking a ride on a camel’s back. But while these interactions may be amazing for us, they aren’t so fun and memorable for the animals. While the animals may appear to be happy and healthy during these human interactions, behind closed doors, they are suffering from harsh animal cruelty and even abuse.
Looks may be deceiving, but if you notice animals in any of these situations, know that there’s something more sinister going on behind the scenes.
If an animal is pacing, it’s not a sign of boredom as it may appear to most humans. Instead, pacing around in a cramped cage or exhibit case can be a sign of high levels of stress and frustration and could be the result of poor mental health.
2. An increase in babies
If it appears that there is an overabundance of baby animals at your local zoo or amusement park, that’s because the animals are forced into reproducing as a means for increasing ticket sales. Spectators love getting the chance to witness an animal birth or watch the baby animals grow up.
3. Posing for pictures
While getting a rare photo taken with an adult tiger or baby elephant might be the talk of the town for a few weeks, in that moment, you probably didn’t notice how calm and collected that animal was while posing. That’s because in order to keep these animals on their best behavior, many of them have been sedated to eliminate some of the risk involved.
4. Riding the animals
Much like when they’re posing for photos, animals like camels and elephants are often sedated so that people don’t get hurt while riding on their backs.
5. Animal performances
One common tool used to force animals into performing for audiences is a bull hook. Some animal caretakers will tug on them with the hook until they agree to perform for their spectators.
6. Small and dirty cages
If your notice a zoo keeping animals in small or untidy cages, chances are they aren’t in the best headspace. They aren’t getting the exercise they need and aren’t able to explore or play like they would in the wild. If the cage or space appears to be overcrowded with animals, the owner or zookeeper could be hoarding.
Many of us have probably seen these practices going on but never knew they were signs of animal cruelty. Share this story with your friends to help spread the word.
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